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Future looks 'solid' in College of Education

By Sandy Broughton

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 33 - June 1, 1995

"We ought to celebrate: we are alive, our health is good, our future is solid," said College of Education Interim Dean Wayne Worner to a standing-room-only audience.

Worner used the College of Education Spring Faculty and Staff Meeting May 12 to review restructuring accomplishments and discuss the mechanics of downsizing, many aspects of which will take place this summer.

Worner said in his opening remarks, "One year ago, in May 1994, our preliminary restructuring plan was submitted to the university--but it was far from certain that the College of Education would exist and be rechartered in the way it has been. Be assured that next year will be a silver anniversary--and not a close-out sale."

This summer, the college will complete the transition from a four-division structure to two interim units. By 1997, a program-based structure will eliminate an entire administrative level, contributing substantially to the $1.6 million the college must pay back to the university by 1997.

Departing faculty members were recognized for their contributions to the College of Education. Nine faculty members have left or will leave the college this year under the university's ITO program. Several will continue to work with the college. Altogether 24 tenured faculty members elected to take the ITO. The college's base of 110 faculty members will drop to 60 by summer 1996. The ITO, transfers within the university, and three faculty members who have found jobs outside the university have enabled the College of Education to reach restructuring targets without layoffs.

At the spring meeting, Worner offered personal remembrances of the retirees, many of whom, like Worner, have been members of the College of Education since its inception in 1970. Karl Hereford, founding dean of the college, received a standing ovation. He has also received dean emeritus status from the university's Board of Visitors. Other departing faculty members recognized were Martin Gerstein, Elizabeth Howze, Leroy Miles, Johnnie Miles, Ron McKeen, Thomas Teates, Dan Vogler, and Larry Weber.

Other restructuring milestones noted at the spring meeting:

* The College of Education has made the first installment of its "payback" to the university, a 20-percent budget cut which it will pay in yearly installments to add up to $1.6 million by 1997.

* The university has reversed its decision to close the productive adult-education program based in Northern Virginia. Administration of the program will be moved no later than July 1, 1996, to an unspecified location in the university.

* At the provost's request, Worner agreed to a 12-month extension of his appointment as interim dean to July 1996.

* A committee of six faculty members--three each from the College of Education and the College of Human Resources--continues to explore closer collaboration between the two colleges. They will issue a report next fall. Discussion of mutually beneficial connections are also under way with the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Business.

* With the retirement of three staff members under the state's WTA program, the College of Education has exceeded the roughly 5.5 positions targeted in the 20-percent budget reduction without involuntary separation.

* Program initiatives are already under way in the areas of the College of Education's newly defined priorities in math, science, and technology education; partnerships with public schools; and inter-collegiate collaboration.